2012 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

2012 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Bentley fans needn’t worry that the luxury marque’s upcoming SUV model will just be a Cayenne clone, despite one of the Porsche SUV’s pioneers recently being appointed Bentley CEO.

Wolfgang Dürheimer is credited with spearheading the Porsche Cayenne’s development, and now, as CEO of Bentley (and Bugatti for that matter), he is working to get the new Bentley SUV project up and running.

In a recent interview with Car and Driver, Dürheimer reassured that the upcoming SUV will be unique, yet immediately Identifiable as a Bentley. Though he did mention it will share components with the Cayenne, and other Volkswagen Group vehicles.

Some of the distinct features he mentioned included a vertical front-end, plenty of mesh, trademark oval exhaust tips, and an elegant rear.

In a previous interview, Dürheimer stated that the twelve-cylinder engine will remain part of Bentley’s future, suggesting that the new SUV will be offered with a W-12 engine like the current Continental range.

Additionally, he also hinted at diesel, and even hybrid Bentleys, though didn’t reveal any further details.

With the demise of the Mercedes-Benz G-Glass, the Range Rover from Land Rover, which starts at $78,835, will soon be the most expensive SUV model from a mainstream automaker, meaning there’s plenty of space for the introduction of a new luxury SUV.

With such strong demand for upmarket SUVs coming from China, India and Russia, it’s surprising that the segment hasn’t been filled sooner.

Look out for the new Bentley SUV sometime in 2014, with pricing expected to start northwards of $200,000.

[Car and Driver]